UPDATE: We have reached the maximum number of entries, and the contest is now closed.

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We are pleased to announce the inaugural Stephen Dixon Award for Short Fiction, in honor of the extraordinary work and life of long-time McSweeney’s author Stephen Dixon.

The Stephen Dixon Award for Short Fiction recognizes an emerging fiction writer who is experimenting with form and expanding the boundaries of storytelling.

The submissions will be reviewed by a panel of editors, fiction writers, and McSweeney’s editors. The winning piece will receive $1,750, as well as publication in a forthcoming issue of McSweeney’s Quarterly and online at mcsweeneys.net. The runner-up will receive $750 and publication online at mcsweeneys.net. Submissions will open January 9 at 10 a.m. PST.

This year’s panel consists of C Pam Zhang, Jessica Alexander, Vi Khi Nao, and Joseph Grantham.


  • The piece must be original and not previously published online or in print
  • The author must not have published a book or have a book forthcoming at the time of submitting
  • Word count: 9K maximum.
  • Submissions will be open until we reach 200 stories (this may take minutes, days, or weeks)

This award was made possible by the generous support of Stephen’s daughters, Sophia and Antonia Frydman.